Boiler basketball vexes Vulcans, 89-52
Hi. It’s Aneesh. I’m working on a new format for the postgame posts…it’s preseason for the BS gang just like it’s preseason for Matty’s squad. Let me know if you have any sections to add, or new names for sections, or just think my organization/writing/life is awful. Much love for reading, as always. xoxox Image from: http://www.purduesports.com/view.gal?id=168974
NOTE: The game is replaying on the Big Ten Network tonight (November 3, 2014) at 10:30pm. You should watch it.
Starters: AJ Hammons, Kendall Stephens, Rapheal Davis, Jon Octeus, Vince Edwards Finishers: Anfernee “Penny” Brown, Stephen “SCHOLARSHIP” Toyra, Jon “EsPN Thinks I Am A Clone” McKeeman, Neal “SENIOR SCHOLARSHIP” Beshears, & Jaquil “Limbs For Days” Taylor
There are two ways to react after seeing that finishing lineup:
1) Purdue is the greatest of all time, will go undefeated, is submitting (at least) four nominees for the Club Trillion Player of the Year belt, and completely wiped the floor with the jabronis on the other team.
2) Purdue is the worst, can’t win a game, needs to find more eligibility for Hummel/Johnson/Moore, and Matty should be fired (A VIEW NOT CURRENTLY ENDORSED BY THE AUTHOR OF THIS POST) because we just lost by 235 points.
Thankfully, yesterday produced reaction #1. Purdue predictably wiped the floor with the DII California University of Pennyslvania Vulcans, 89-52. I want to make a bunch of Cal U Penn jokes, but I’ll refrain because I completely misplaced a school roughly 40 miles away from where I currently live and their mascot is A FREAKING SHIRTLESS VULCAN.
As a responsible (and kind of busy) writer, I won’t overreact positively or negatively. I’ll just leave you with player notes in the Good/Bad/Ugly sections below. And though my mind works in a very numbers-oriented way, I’m not going to post misleading and inflated stats. The preseason is for qualitative observations that might lead to trends against real competition.
The game was over when…
In the game? When AJ did this:
In every non-darkest timeline reality? Seconds after tip off.
- Bryson Scott was making some great, level headed passes that he absolutely couldn’t (or wouldn’t) make last year.
Here are two more GIFs, just for good measure and a larger sample size. All of the reported hours Bryson put in this summer towards taking over the point guard position are apparently paying off, because that’s a level of playmaking talent I really didn’t know he had.
- Jon Octeus looks to be a perfect and impactful late-addition by Coach Painter and the staff. Does a great job slashing into the paint and drawing contact, was showing a promising shot, and has the length to bother opposing guards on defense. There were several instances of Octeus settling down some sloppy Purdue offense by getting to the line, allowing the team to regroup. File that sentence away for Big Ten season, because it’s going to be an incredibly valuable skill against the best conference in the country.
- BREAKING: Dakota Mathias and Kendall Stephens can break zones with their shooting. Stephens has shown improved ball handling which makes him very dangerous out of the triple-threat position, and Mathias has next-level playmaking abilities. (This is the part where you get really excited for this year.)
- These two Vince Edwards-AJ Hammons plays: FIRST SECOND I’ve maintained this since like 2012: Vince Edwards will be a starting forward from Day 1, and will have a huge impact on a roster that needs direction.
- Two 7-footers going against a 6’6” center means feasting in the paint. In addition to absolutely owning the paint defensively, AJ Hammons displayed a shooting stroke that looked pure (though it didn’t hit the mark enough), and was using his body to dominate in ways we rarely saw last year. It also looks like Hammons is in considerably better shape this year, as even his running strides look so much smoother than a year ago. Isaac Haas is a giant giant of giant proportions, and he’s not afraid to use that size to his advantage.
- PJ Thompson had four of these:
- (Again, this year might be when things start to get fun again.)
- Jacquil Taylor looks really long, pretty athletic, very versatile, and a lot better than I thought he would be to start the season. Before yesterday, I thought he’d certainly redshirt. Now? I’m not sure. That’s a good problem for the coaching staff to have (for once).
- Zone defense was used, with a good amount of success. Then again, we were playing a DII opponent. So, you know, grain of salt.
- Bryson is still in the habit of bull-rushing drives in transition, which often result in turnovers. He’s definitely progressed, but needs to grow out of this ASAP.
- Hammons floated out of attention a few times during defensive rebounding, when he was sort of waiting for balls to come to him rather than actively boxing out.
- The offense still gets a little muddled when opposing defenses are rough with Hammons/Haas. Not enough movement, though this could be chalked up to complacency with a 40 point lead.
- This defensive collapse on the first zone possession by the starters:
- As said above, this improved…but it wasn’t without some hiccups.
- Haas needs to keep the ball high in the post. He’s also as slow as molasses in the post, which didn’t hurt against the Vulcans but will against the likes of Frank Kaminski, Zak Irvin, and Branden Dawson.
- Basil Smotherman is still without an elite skill, while parading around elite athleticism in a professional frame. I’ll write more about Smotherman later this week, but he is someone I’m afraid will get buried behind a plethora of more ready wing talent.
Moving Picture Thingy of the Night:
[See: that furious AJ video above.]
[I promise I’ll save some moving pictures for future games.]
Tweet of the night:
Leave it to the great Chris Forman to brighten everyone’s day:
Hammons walked out of media room after media w/ a huge smile, flanked by PJ & Isaac & said "This is going to be a fun year with these guys"
— Chris Forman (@ChrisForman12) November 3, 2014